By Jacqueline Benson, Teacher of Middle School Mathematics & Science, Dover Campus
Middle School students expressed an interest in the MathCounts Competition Series by joining the Math Competition Activity at the beginning of the academic year. Twice a week, the students practice their problem-solving skills individually and in group settings by solving challenging problems that are sourced from a wide range of competitions.
In late September, two qualifying rounds were held to select a group of 40 then 26 students who continued on in the MathCounts Competition team. These 26 students met once a week for dedicated MathCounts practice using a range of materials and activities. In late November a final qualifying round was held to bring the team to 10 students.
This is a competitive process, despite the activities and interactions being a healthy combination of individual and group activities and preparation. Students spent many hours at school and home preparing.
The MathCounts Competition Series
This year, the competition was hosted by Shanghai American School (Pudong) on February 23 and 24. 93 students from ten schools attended. Schools from China, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong competed in this overseas chapter of the MathCounts Competition Series.
Hong Kong International School (HKIS)
International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC)
Jakarta International School (JIS)
Shanghai American School - Pudong and Puxi Campuses
Singapore American School (SAS)
South Saigon International School (SSIS)
United World College (SEA) - Dover and East Campuses
The MathCounts Competition Series Structure
Countdown Round: This is a knockout competition. The 20 top ranked students at the end of the previous three rounds had the ‘best of 3 questions’ rounds.
“I enjoyed the preparation and competition. Preparing was fun as we were able to do questions as a team and learn from each other. The most challenging part was the pressure from the competition because we were all trying to get a good score, but it was hard. As a mathematician, I have developed by seeing how good the countdown round students were, and I now know what I have to do to reach that level. For the kids thinking about MC20, I would say that you should go for it. Have a positive attitude. I didn’t think I’d make it but I did, so you should always try.” - Anusha
“I enjoyed the activities and the competition. I enjoyed the competition because it was one of the most unique math competitions I’d been to. The countdown round was very exciting to watch, as if it was a sports competition. The sprint round was a challenge to me as it was especially challenging this year. As a mathematician, I have developed both mathematical skills and interests. I could remember how much I improved from the beginning of the year.” - Justin